CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings.
We knew from city data that robberies in our neighborhood had been soaring to record highs for three consecutive years. Yet public officials and police representatives at CAPS meetings continually said that crime was going down.
On April 14, 2013, we debuted “Crime In Wrigleyville + Boystown,” with a mission to report on the crimes, statistics, and trends that—for whatever reason—the city refused to address.
The response to our work was incredible. Readers showed up in droves at CAPS meetings, demanding to be told the truth. False stories from aldermen and even the police department were exposed for what they were.
And, most importantly, the city not only admitted to there being a street crime problem in Wrigleyville and Boystown, but the police department took corrective action.
Worst To First
In our first year, there were 240 robberies reported in Wrigleyville and Boystown, the highest number in any year since 2001. Thanks to our neighbors’ commitment to pressuring police and politicians, that number fell to 157 in 2014.
In 2015, Wrigleyville and Boystown recorded just 128 robberies, the lowest number in any year since 2001.
It’s pretty remarkable what can be done when people try.
Our mission now is to continue to monitor what is happening in Wrigleyville and Boystown while giving friends in nearby neighborhoods the information they need to make their areas better, too.
Driven by CWBChicago reporting, Lakeview residents began demanding that private organizers take more responsibility for major events that had begun to lay havoc on the neighborhood. The results have been measurable. Wrigleyville’s St. Patrick’s weekend bacchanal recorded just six arrests in 2018, down from 21 when we first started reporting on the issue. (Although there has been a rebound in 2019, which will hopefully be addressed by organizers.)
|Arrests at major events in Lakeview East|
|St. Patrick’s Wrigleyville||UNK||21||17||7||5||6||15|
|TBOX Bar Crawl||11||7||6||4||0||1||TBD|
The Christmastime TBOX bar crawl, which had eleven arrests in an increasingly violent atmosphere during 2013, did not have a single event-related arrest in 2018.
Best of all, the Chicago Pride Parade—our neighborhood’s grandest annual event—has increased security, and re-doubled efforts to clean the streets. Pride Parade-related arrests are down 50% since 2013. Thanks to our neighbors, the city, and parade organizers, the pride parade is something we can all be prouder of.
In 2018, we’ve added a new partner with reporting and major media experience to help us develop into an even stronger voice for the North Side.
Our goal is to provide broader detail, better context, and more original reporting than ever before.
We want to leverage our experience and resources to bring detailed coverage and original reporting to nearby areas like Lincoln Square, North Center, and Lincoln Park while keeping an ever-vigilant eye on our home turf in Lakeview.
Can we count on your support to make that possible?
We have a variety of subscription plans, each with its own member perks, starting at just 94-cents a week. Click HERE for options.